By Richard F. Newcomb
A Pictorial heritage of the Vietnam struggle.
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Extra resources for A Pictorial History of the Vietnam War
TERM'S mission ostensibly was to help the Vietnamese recover and re-use military equipment the French had left behind. Actually these men would stay on, doubling the strength of MAAG. Meanwhile, the eyes of the world were on Europe, where tank-led Soviet forces put down an uprising of patriots in Hungary in October, and on the Middle East, where Israel smashed the Egyptians at the Suez Canal in the Sinai War. These crises diverted attention from a steady growth in American interests in Southeast Asia.
What should he do? General Collins and Colonel Lansdale counseled Diem to take full power by legal means. Diem did, with a plebiscite October 23. Lansdale had warned him not to win it by — Ngo Dinh Diem, considered by many an aristocratic dilettante or "mandarin, " consolidates his power, engineers a 98% victory in October an plebiscite, November is and in proclaimed the first President of the Republic of Vietnam. The United States recognizes him; the Ho and Communist world denounce him as an American puppet.
Ho's major concern was that the Viet Cong were proceeding too fast; he needed more short for Vietnamese time to build his military strength in the north. Ho was ready. He authorized the VC in South Vietnam, now organizing in groups of one hundred or more, to defend themselves if attacked, and soon they were taking over whole areas of the countryside. The North Vietnamese Army began serious work on the Ho Chi Minh trail that spring. It had long been a foot trail winding down through Laos and Cambodia, west of the Vietnam border.
A Pictorial History of the Vietnam War by Richard F. Newcomb